(323) 863-3603 admin@ourmilkmoney.org

The storm did stop, but it rained on and off for a few weeks after that- the kind of drizzle that makes you feel like you can’t get out and accomplish anything, and the moment you try, it’s such a big dramatic event, you decide not to attempt it again until there is the slightest bit of sun poking through the sky. These dark and dreary days were the days I realized I was turning into a hermit in my house. There was only so much conversation I could have with my 15 month old, the house was cleaner than a hospital and my laundry had been folded and sorted by color 15 times since breakfast, and it was only noon. I was bored. I didn’t miss work, and the stress of leaving my son in that awful daycare, or the boss who wouldn’t let me leave 30 minutes early to go pick him up. But I did miss my friends. I missed the excitement of the day to day, and the gossip, which surrounded me on a daily basis working at a network television studio.
I needed friends. Although I had lived in my house for 4 years, I’d been commuting into the city for work, and my social life. I didn’t know a single person in my community.
I decided to join a play group. As selfish as this may sound, this group was more for me than for my son, and with every outing we made, you could probably tell how desperate I was.
You would have thought I was a teenager starting in a new highchool mid semester. Every day I woke up excited of all the possibilities.
I spent time researching our local paper and internet for activities and made a list of all the things we would attend together. Every morning I got us both dressed in our cutest baby and mommy outfits, paying extra attention to details such as dressing down enough to be the perfect stay at home mom, while applying my make-up flawlessly and practicing my “friendly smile” in the rearview mirror while in the car in route.
Although the rain and stopped, the clouds were still following me around as I desperately tried to attach myself to a group that I could connect with. I was still used to my friends and colleagues at work, the artsy entertainment folk, most of whom didn’t have kids, or if they did, left the raising of them to a nanny or a relative. Perhaps I seemed too eager to make friends. I’d sit in the mommy and me groups participating, singing, laughing, commenting on the other children, and rarely got much response from the other moms. I imagined them going home together, getting on their cell phones and laughing about the “new mom” who was obviously trying to hard. Perhaps I’d seen too many movies and TV shows about Desperate Homemakers, but since I wasn’t yet at ease in this new culture, those fictional stories were all I had to draw from.
I began to wonder if I’d been living in a vacuum for 4 years, and since I’d been commuting, I hadn’t noticed the zombies that were living next door. I couldn’t imagine myself ever being this cold to another human being. No matter what group I belonged to, I’d always made the newcomer feel welcome, and most of the people I’d known up until this point all would have done the same. What was wrong with these people? Did the koolade in this town turn stay-at-home moms into Babylonians? Would I eventually become one of them? I imagine a modern day version of Stepford Wives, except that our only form or communicating with one another was singing, “Come on everybody it’s parachute time” to the tune of “the wheels on the bus go round and round.”
Everyday while getting my infant son and I ready for the day, I’d remind him, “today, we are going to go out and make some friends today!” I was determined. Finally after 2 very long months of wondering if I’d ever fit in to any of the mom groups, I broke down and asked one of the teachers at a Mommy and Me class we’d been attending. Actually, it was just after she approached me to thank me for always being so smiley, upbeat, and participating in all the songs and activities, despite the obvious fact that I was being so rudely ignored. I hugged the teacher her with such relief and thanked her for noticing what a struggle it had been for me to fit in! “Please,” I whispered, “Tell me where all the ‘cool’ moms are!” She put her arm around me and said, “you didn’t hear this from me. Show up to the music class 9:30am on Friday.” It was as if I was getting a secret tip in Vegas to take part in an underground operation. I was so excited I could hardly wait.
Friday arrived, and I discovered exactly what I’d been looking for. A group of women just like me- just my age, first time moms, incredibly happy to be right where they were in their lives, and thrilled that I wanted to “play” with them. That day, the sun burned through the clouds for good. And it didn’t rain for the rest of the summer. Now, when it does rain, I have a nice cozy group of mommy friends to spend time with, and our kids all get along great too. This rainbow was definitely worth the storm that created it.
OMM Andrew
Author: OMM Andrew